Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

GM’s “Aspiration” to Sell Only Electric Vehicles By 2035 is a Big Change, but Firm Commitments are Needed

After Siding with Trump to Roll Back Fuel Efficiency Standards, GM’s Change of Heart Needs to be Proven

Washington D.C. — General Motors’ plan to be carbon neutral by 2040 and the ‘aspiration’ to only sell electric vehicles by 2035 announced yesterday was welcome news. But given that GM was one of the lead automakers that sided with President Trump’s rollback of fuel economy standards, this stated turnabout needs to be followed by more immediate action. As the biggest American car company to fight against better fuel economy standards and with only one electric vehicle currently in its lineup, GM’s sudden awakening to the needs of the American consumer is a bit suspect.

“We are hopeful that GM has truly seen the light. Its failure to focus on fuel efficiency throughout the 2000’s resulted in millions of unsold gas guzzlers stuck on lots and a government bailout. Then just 5 years after agreeing to commonsense, money saving fuel economy standards in 2011, GM enthusiastically supported Trump in rolling back those same fuel efficiency standards. Clearly GM’s commitment to fuel efficiency is suspect. Today, GM’s words are good to hear, but it remains to be seen if action will follow,” said Gillis.

“Rather than ‘aspire’ to the inevitable future of electric vehicles, GM’s CEO Mary Barra could immediately take action by joining BMW, Ford, Honda, and Volkswagen in supporting California’s Agreement that results in greater fuel efficiency,” said Jack Gillis, Executive Director of CFA. This agreement, which would require passenger vehicles to average 51 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026, has already become the Biden Administration’s basis for a new national standard.

Contact: Jack Gillis, 202-939-1018